Readers' Comments

Michael Jerinic (
Sun, 21 Jul 1996 20:40:09 -0700

Attn. The Editor

Dear Sir,

I have recently come across Ilija Marinkovic's excellent article
"Postoji li i dalje srpskohrvatski?" which provides a saddening
picture of the current linguistical "trends" in the four ex-republics
of the former Yugoslavia.

If linguistical science has any pretences to be a scientific discipline,
then any serious language scientist-slavist must stand one's grounds,
against unscrupulous, chauvinistically flavoured assaults on the
Serbocroatian language by many of today's "experts", such as professor
H. Batowsky or Dr.Kramarica, mentioned in Mr. Marinkovic's article.

I would like to go a step further and suggest that by making such
ridiculous attempts to split one language along ethnic or religious
lines, or to decree that a dialect shall be known as a language from
hence forth, the two gentlemen and all their followers clearly
demonstrate that they all have one thing in common - their judgement has
lost objectivity and has instead been corrupted by their nationalistic
affiliations and preferences.

Perhaps they may have forgotten, being blinded by the fervent
nationalistic frenzy, that there are many other languages
spoken by different nations, in many dialectical forms and across
international boundaries, and still having only one common name?

The examples they should certainly study carefully are the English,
German and Russian languages, as being closest to their homes.

One can readily find some rationale in such attempts to violate
a language - "we are too similar - so we have to be different in

As a linguist I certainly share the opinion of Mr. Marek A. Vasilevski -
we must resist the sickness and chauvinism spreading into slavistics.
As an expatriate, I am positively disgusted with this latest wave
of pseudo-intellectuals, being manipulated by their mad political

May I in the end suggest that if the "Serbocroatian" or "Croatoseriban"
is loathed by both tribes for not being tribal enough, and is being
rejected by the third for not being too Bosnian, perhaps they may all
agree on the diplomatically chosen name "Hrboser", with all of its
added flavours and connotations. In my mind, that is exactly where it
is currently heading, under the careful guidance of this newly born
breed of language nationalists.

Perhaps, you may consider opening an on-line debate on this subject
on the Internet?

With kind regards,
Michael Jerinic